It has been a turbulent year across the globe, but now there are encouraging signals across Asia and Australasia. In recent weeks appetite and activity has held up and signs of recovery are for the first time appearing on the horizon. Here, RLI takes a look at some major projects that have opened and are due to open in these regions and highlight how they are looking to entice customer engagement and footfall once again.


According to the ‘APAC Market Snapshot: Capital Markets & Investment Services Asia Pacific Q2 2020’, Singapore’s commercial and industrial sectors were clear outperformers amid stringent ‘circuit breaker’ measures slowed the pace of transactions.

Meanwhile in China, domestic investors are sticking to long-term strategies, with many picking up property for self-use purposes. Emerging markets, including Myanmar and Vietnam, are continuing to attract inflows thanks to efforts to develop industrial infrastructure and the relocation of manufacturing from China.

A return to relative normality in Hong Kong is supporting a strong undercurrent of buying sentiment, while in Japan the strength of the logistics and office markets helped offset a less positive picture in the retail and hotel sectors.

Meanwhile, research from CBRE’s Market Snapshot entitled ‘How Will Lower Population Growth Impact Property Markets?’, lower population growth over 2020-22 will be a further Covid-19-related challenge to Australia’s retail trade environment, coming on the back of the shutdown period March-May where shopping centres experienced high levels of temporary vacancy.

The report says that they expect neighbourhood shopping centres will demonstrate more resilience in terms of capital value preservation over the next 18 months. Most large shopping centres and CBD retail won’t achieve rental growth in a climate where retail sales growth will struggle to keep pace with inflation. Unfortunately due to the Covid-19 pandemic the challenges for retail will continue, but it won’t be the only property sector to face challenges over the next 18 months. Moreover, it will spur innovation and evolution from retailers and landlords in the sector, bringing the future closer.

PROJECTS ACROSS ASIA AND AUSTRALASIA

Australia

Located at the eastern gateway to Perth’s CBD, across a 6ha site on the banks of the Swan River, Waterbank will include a mix of residential, commercial, retail and circa four hectares of public open space. A collaborative effort between the WA State Government’s Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority (MRA) and Lendlease, the vision for Waterbank is to create a new wellbeing precinct: a social place that reflects the cosmopolitan Perth of today. At Waterbank, everything will be on your doorstep. Situated on the banks of the Swan River in East Perth, Waterbank provides easy access to free public transport and is a short walk Perth’s vibrant CBD. Relaxed, accessible, tactile and distinctly Western Australian in its design and identity, Waterbank balances its urban character with a strong connection to nature. The first stages of the project are currently due to open in 2021.

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Waterbank

Melbourne’s CBD connecting the historic grid to the emerging Southern Cross Precinct. Melbourne Quarter is centrally located in the city directly opposite Southern Cross station, with extensive frontages to Collins Street and Flinders Street. It is one of the largest new mixed-use urban regeneration developments in Melbourne. The brand new city block will include three next-generation commercial towers, three residential apartment towers, and a diverse retail mix of food, lifestyle and wellbeing. More than 50 percent of Melbourne Quarter will be open space, with public spaces including Melbourne’s first Sky Park, a major public square on Collins Street, a new neighbourhood park off Flinders Street and an exciting new Melbourne laneway, connecting Collins and Flinders Streets. On completion, Melbourne Quarter is expected to accommodate approx. 14,000 workers and over 3,000 residents. Construction at Melbourne Quarter commenced in 2016 and is forecast to be delivered in stages over approximately six to eight years.

Another project by developer Lendlease is Melbourne Quarter, which is set to be a vibrant commercial, residential, retail and cultural city neighbourhood – an authentic part of

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Melbourne Quarter

China

Completed earlier this year by developer Longfor Properties and architects LWK + Partners, Zijing Paradise Walk is comprised of a gross floor area of 68,000sq m site and a site area of 28,557.5sq m. Taking good care of personal health and staying comfortable in a space are growing priorities for today’s consumers, a trend that has intensified since the pandemic. The Zijing Paradise Walk retail mall is a considered response by the developer and architect. With culture and wellness as the central themes, this new community shopping centre rests next to the Wulitang River in West Lake district in Hangzhou, China. It offers diverse leisure and wellness facilities spread across interlocking spaces, which are also well integrated with the key essence of ancient Hangzhou’s Hui-style architecture, embodying a sense of simplicity, elegance and preserved heritage. Since its opening in early 2020, Zijing Paradise Walk has become a social destination for the community, forging connections with local people by celebrating traditional culture, its natural surroundings and modern city life.

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Zijing Paradise Walk

Opened last month, the 240,000sq m Changchun Beihu Wuyue Square shopping centre by developer Future Land Development Holdings is the largest and most comprehensive shopping centre in north Changchun, with six floors of above-ground space and three floors underground, including more than 2,050 parking spaces. Wuyue Square, in the city’s Beihu district, plays host to over 270 brands including 12 anchor stores, covering clothing, boutique supermarkets, leisure and entertainment, early learning, household appliances, cafés, restaurants and other offers. Designed by Chapman Taylor, their 32,000sq m interior design draws inspiration from Changchun’s rich ecological landscape; its four themed zones are based around a “tropical” atrium, a “city green” atrium, a “mountain” atrium and a “wetland” atrium, creating a lush and elegant, one-stop life and entertainment centre for Changchun. Sungang MixC Market Hall, China Resources’ new mixed-use development is under construction in Shenzhen, China with anticipated completion by Q3 2022. Located on a former industrial zone, thisretail-gastronomy destination will provide an immersive gastronomic experience under one roof. Being designed by 10 DESIGN MixC Market Hall will accommodate 78,890sq m of retail and F&B dining space, with two office towers above providing 102,320sq m of workspace. As part of the regeneration of the district, the overall masterplan will also include residential and serviced apartment towers, resettlement housing, and public amenities, providing a holistic redevelopment. Jointly led by two design partners, Ted Givens and Chin Yong Ng, the concept for this new development is to break away from the conventional shopping mall design and instead draw inspiration from a more traditional market square, creating a central meeting place for public enjoyment. This will result in a series of spaces created at different scales all interconnected.

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Wuyue Square
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Zhongshan OCT Harbour

China’s Zhongshan OCT Harbour, masterplanned and designed by LWK + Partners, broke ground in early 2020 and is envisioned to serve as a dynamic recreational destination and emerge in the west coast of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. LWK + Partners planning and urban design team in Hong Kong office came together in collaboration with Shenzhen and Chongqing studios to create an urban cultural hub for the community, incorporating vernacular Lingnan aesthetics, river ecology and sustainability considerations alongside business opportunities. Shiqi, a traditional cultural core in Zhongshan, is going through an urban renewal process that involves a review of the potential of the Gangkou River. Zhongshan OCT Harbour will have a theme park, retail areas, residences, hotel accommodation, entertainment facilities and offices across both sides of the river, creating a diversified commercial, recreational and living experience on a rich, eco-friendly landscape. As the project develops, a respect for nature, local culture and Lingnan aesthetics gradually unfolds. The developer for the project which is set to open in 2023 is Zhongshan OCT Development Co. Ltd.

Jiuzhou Bay is set to be a new waterfront neighbourhood in Zhuhai that will be designed by SOM Designs and developed by Zhuhai Jiuzhou Bay Holdings Group. In an effort to transform the city’s waterfront and create a blueprint for future development, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) was selected from a shortlist of 10 global design firms to create Jiuzhou Bay – a new 5.6 million square foot mixed-use neighbourhood that features offices, residences, retail, and infrastructure. The design sets a new standard for public transit in the region, with plans for a robust transportation hub that offers connections to land, sea, and rail across more than 40 acres. It also features five modular canopies that envelop three sides of a 1.8 million square foot port, weaving together a landscape of towers rising behind it and creating a series of covered pedestrian alleyways, a lively retail environment, and interlinked courtyards along the waterfront promenade. No completion date has been put forward yet.

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Jiuzhou Bay
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10 DESIGN has won the design competition to redevelop an old military airport in Nanjing, China into a 2.6 million square foot contemporary mixed-use development. The redevelopment has been designed with the central theme of echoing the past while reflecting the future for the city of Nanjing. The winning design features three interconnected buildings linked by a sunken street, incorporating office, retail, and cultural spaces. The project will run parallel to the sole remaining airport runway, which has been kept in its original form as a historic feature. Two underground railway stations are embedded into the site. A central corridor is positioned directly on top of one of the railway tracks, providing a feature passageway for commuters to navigate through the three buildings. Developed by China Fortune, the feature runway will provide a public space and be enlivened throughout the year with cultural activities.

Evoking the excitement and charm of the Victorian era, The Londoner Macao, the latest addition to Sands Resorts Macao is set to recreate London’s classic shopping districts and feature British themed boutiques and authentic recreations of classic British landmarks such as the world-famous Palace of Westminster and Houses of Parliament. To learn more about this fascinating project, please see our Cover Story on the project on pages 26-27.

India

Spread over 1.5 million square feet, Phoenix Palassio houses over 300 brands including a variety of retail, F&B & entertainment. Phoenix Palassio offers many firsts under one roof like Lifestyle, Shoppers Stop, Home Centre, Pantaloons, a 10-screen INOX cinema with unique formats and over 60 brands coming to the area for the first time such as H&M, Under Armour, Steve Madden, Superdry, Sephora, etc. Additionally, the mall showcases huge entertainment experiences like Funcity, Timezone coupled with sprawling event venues like Palassio Square which will hold musical events with a capacity to entertain close to 5,000 people at a time. Phoenix Palassio is one of the grandeur landmarks in the city that resonates with the architecture and cultural heritage of Lucknow with the essence of European architecture. Pioneered by The Phoenix Mills Co. Ltd., Phoenix Palassio boasts six atriums, three grand entrances and high arched ceilings with state-of-the-art chandeliers, boulevards, surrounded by lush green horticulture in its periphery.

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Phoenix Palassio

Lulu Mall and Hotel, Thiruvananthapuram, is located in the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Kerala. Due to opened in 2021 by developers Sobha Limited, LuLu Mall Thiruvananthapuram is located on NH 66 bypass at Akkulam, opposite to Technopark. The mall is a two million square foot development with over 300 national and international brands, and 12 anchor stores including the LuLu Hypermarket spread across 200,00sq ft. The mall will house a 12-screen multiplex and 80,000sq ft Family Entertainment Centre, which will include a 20,000sq ft trampoline park. The mall will also feature a 2,500-seater food court, as well as several restaurants and cafes that serve various regional, international and specialty cuisines. With ample parking for over 3,800 vehicles, supported by a multi-level car park, spectacular flagship store designs, combined with an ample offering of food and entertainment, LuLu Mall Thiruvananthapuram will be a true destination mall for the people of Thiruvananthapuram and beyond.

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Lulu Mall

Japan

A new train station, Takanawa Gateway Station, for the JR Yamanote Line and Keihin Tohoku Line between Shinagawa Station and Tamachi Station was opened in March 2020 in the Konan area of Minato Ward of Tokyo. The station complex was designed by famed architect, Kengo Kuma, and is said to be inspired by origami (traditional Japanese folding paper). The station building is a three-storey structure with a 4,000-square metre glass and steel roof supported by wooden pillars. The station area project is part of the plan to make the Shinagawa area Tokyo’s entry area to the rest of the world. It is envisioned as an international exchange hub with currently 72,000 square metres under development. There will be four main buildings for offices, residence, hotel, shopping mall, conference spaces, and public areas, all of which will be completed in 2025.

New Zealand

Auckland’s most exciting new retail and hospitality precinct, Commercial Bay was launched to the public back in June. Owner Precinct Properties have created a site that offers more than 120 retailers across fashion food and beverage, beauty and speciality retail, bringing together the largest concentration of high-quality local and international retailers to the heart of Auckland city. Featuring 18,000sq m of retail space, 39,000sq m of office space, Commercial Bay is unlike any development seen before in this part of the world, and not just in scale. It’s a destination in its own right: a place where world-class retail and food and beverage experiences sit alongside a striking space for business, hosting an estimated 10,000 workers. Bringing together the largest concentration of high quality retail and food and beverage in the city, a luxury hotel and the striking new PwC Tower, Commercial Bay is the most transformational project Auckland has ever seen.

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Thailand

Simon Premium Outlets, along with Siam Piwat with their joint venture Siam Piwat Simon opened in June Siam Premium Outlets Bangkok, bringing Thailand’s capital discount prices on goods from Balenciaga, Montblanc, Bally, Breitling, Salvatore Ferragamo, Furla, Hugo Boss, Coach, kate spade, CK Calvin Klein, and more. Adidas and Nike each opened standalone stores exceeding 13,000sq ft stores at the centre, which is located a 15-minute drive from the Suvarnabhumi Airport that serves more than 60 million travellers a year. Siam Premium Outlets Bangkok delivers the experience of the true, international standard, outlet retail shopping centre with an exceptional selection of over 200 brands that include some of the most recognised and sought-after global luxury, international and top-notch local brands at everyday savings, up to 70 per cent off. Siam Premium Outlets Bangkok will feature a number of brands that are debuting their outlet concepts for the first time in Thailand; 60 brands will be available exclusively at the centre.

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Siam Premium Outlets Bangkok
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One Bangkok

Currently under construction by Frasers Property and TCC Assets, One Bangkok will open its first phase in 2023 and become a new global landmark destination – a fully-integrated district in the heart of the city. Once completed, it will be synonymous with Thailand and enhance the country’s stature on the world stage. One Bangkok will set new standards in terms of design, quality, connectivity and sustainability to be the most prestigious corporate address in the city. One Bangkok will set new standards in terms of design, quality, connectivity and sustainability to be the most prestigious corporate address in the city. A vibrant lifestyle destination, it will combine hospitality, retail, art & cultural experiences, together with the city’s finest residences. With a gross floor area of 1.83 million square metres, One Bangkok will incorporate the unique essence of Thailand and Bangkok’s rich history, combining a deep understanding of local social and cultural context with new experiences of urban living.